20 March 2006

Iran - such a nice regime

As the socialist peace movement starts its campaign opposing military action against Iran’s nuclear programme, the Sunday Telegraph reports the campaign of Maryam Rajavi about the brutality Iran inflicts upon teenagers accused of committing crimes. Maryam Rajavi is leader of the National Council for Resistance for Iran (NCRI), a group with a military wing described by the US, EU and UK as a terrorist group. She is criticised for being a personality cult. Her organisation is headquartered in France and calls for overthrow of the regime and installation of a government led by her, until holding free elections. Although her followers are a bit extreme, as two set fire to themselves after she was detained by French police suspected of terrorism. So one should be wary of this group, but regardless, some of the cases she cites are horrendous.

She has a book listing the 21,676 died resisting the Iranian regime, and another 120,000 executed since the 1979 revolution. She talks of a 15yo boy flogged to death for eating during Ramadan, and a 13yo girl buried to her neck and stoned for a similar offence. None of this should be a surprise. It executed two men last year for homosexual conduct. Human Rights Watch reports “Iranian law punishes all penetrative sexual acts between adult men with the death penalty. Non-penetrative sexual acts between men are punished with lashes until the fourth offense, when they are punished with death. Sexual acts between women, which are defined differently, are punished with lashes until the fourth offense, when they are also punished with death. “ How about charging with batons a peaceful march in celebration of International Womens’ Day on 9 March? The US State Department notes “The testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man in court. The blood money paid to the family of a female crime victim is half the sum paid for a man. A married woman must obtain the written consent of her husband before traveling outside the country”.
Slanderous pigs like John Pilger, claiming Israel wants to wage war against Iran - which is akin to claiming that the Chinese in the 1930s were intending to attack Japan - defending North Korea seeing off the US aggressor, ignoring how aggressive the North Korean regime is against its defenceless people, starved, executed, tortured and imprisoned like animals - but hey they are anti-American and nobody would want to live in the US would they? The Iranian regime is brutal, anti-democratic and contrary to the values of civilised society - it wishes the eradication of a fellow UN member state, refuses adequate inspections by the IAEA on its "peaceful" nuclear facilities. Military action is a last resort, against an Iran which threatens to attack Israel or supply nuclear materials to its terrorist organisations. Of course, this doesn't matter to the so called "peace movement" - because only if Tel Aviv is flattened by an Iranian nuclear weapon will many of its supporters waken up and might apologise - but Pilger will probably say the men, women and children who lived their lives in peace in Tel Aviv brought it upon themselves, by not helping to eradicate Israel as the "peaceful" Mullahs in Tehran call for.
Iran will change, a majority of those in Tehran want change, the 10% turnout for the last Mayoral elections is an indication of that. They just need encouragement and support, and the tactics needed are carrots and sticks - full transparency for the nuclear programme, an end to sponsorship of terrorism, an end to calls to eradicate Israel and a promise of no attack, end to sanctions and US diplomatic recognition. In other words, be a civilised peace-loving state.

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