Friday, February 1, 2008

Black Humor in Iranian Statecraft

Consider the following quote, from a leader of one the most vicious and intolerant regimes of state terrorism in the world:
Also on Thursday, Iran's former President Mohammad Khatami said Iran is the most democratic state in the Middle East.

Addressing the 38th World Economic Forum in Davos, Khatami said, "Obviously, opposition against Iran is politically motivated. Extremists in any religion always consider everything in black and white and have no tool but violence."

Noting that love is at the core of Islam and Christianity, he said, "Extremists in both the religions want to turn love into hatred."
Note that Judaism was not included as a religion with a core of love.  Iran's "tolerance" for Bahai, homosexuals and other minorities is surely famous around the world. They love them to death  (see Iran's human rights record).
Some recent news from the "most democratic state in the Middle East" is below.
Ami Isseroff

Thousands of Iran election candidates face ban
Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:11pm ET147
International News
TEHRAN (Reuters) - About 40 percent of the 7,200 people who have registered to run in Iran's March parliament election "have a record" with the authorities, a senior official said Monday, an indication they would not be allowed to run.
Alireza Afshar, head of election headquarters, did not elaborate on what kind of record they had, but hopefuls in past votes in a similar position were barred.
A pro-reform politician said having a record meant being blocked from standing.

Iran has sentenced three members of the Bahai faith to four years in jail for security offences and 51 others to suspended prison terms.

They were convicted for propaganda against the system in the southern city of Shiraz, a judiciary spokesman said, without giving details.

Bahaism is a branch of Islam viewed as heresy by Iran's religious authorities.

The spokesman said the 51 suspended sentences were conditional on attending courses by state propaganda officials.

 Iranian government intensifies crackdown on left-wing opposition

SEP and ISSE demand immediate release of arrested students

By Joe Kay
28 January 2008

On January 15, as part of a brutal crackdown on domestic opposition, the Iranian government arrested another 10 members of the Students for Freedom and Equality in Iran (also known as the Radical Left). Two more students were arrested on January 24. More than 40 members of the group are now behind bars at Iran's notorious Evin prison or have been released on bail

On December 4, Iranian police forces arrested 33 students who were participating in demonstrations marking "Students Day." The day commemorates the deaths of three students who were killed by the government of the US-supported Shah of Iran on December 7, 1953, while they protested the visit of then-US Vice President Richard Nixon.


Ahwaz Human Rights Organization is appealing for international action to save the lives of three Ahwazi-Arab detainees after the execution of a fellow detainee today.

Below is an appeal by Ahwaz Human Rights Organization:

To: World Leaders, International Human Rights Organizations and Media

Despite our appeal of 1/14/2008 and the appeals of the international community and a large number of international human rights organizations, this morning at 4 AM, the Iranian regime executed  Mr. Zamel Bawi, , 29 years old, married with one child, resident of Ahwaz, a small business owner and the son  of Ahwazi Arab tribal leader Hajj Salem Bawi. This execution took place in Karoon prison in Ahwaz (Zamel's 4 brothers remain in jail).  This has come after the execution of four other Ahwazis on 12/30/2007: Ahmad Marmazi, Abdolhussein Harabii, Hussein Asakereh, and Mehdi Haidari.

In the 12 months, at least 19 Ahwazi-Arab activists have been publicly hanged (three were executed just days after UN Human Rights Commissioner, Ms. Arbour, visited Tehran in September 2007).

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