Rape – the back story

It is pointed out here that rape has always been used as a tool of policy in the Islamic Republic, sanctioned at first by Ayatollah Khomeini and then, in the 1980s and 1990s, by Mousavi and Karroubi:

The opposition leaders Karoubi and Mir-Hussein Mousavi are trying to give the impression that the rape of prisoners is something new. While it is now taking place on an even more shocking scale, the systematic rape of prisoners first became government policy when Mousavi was prime minister in the 1980s and continued when Karoubi was the head of parliament in the ’90s. And it could not have been initiated or continued without the direct or indirect approval of the regime’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini. It was so widely used that Ayatollah Ali Montazeri, who at that time was slated to succeed the Supreme Leader, wrote to him on October 9, 1986 asking, perhaps rhetorically, “Do you know that a large number of prisoners have been killed under torture? Do you know that in Mashhad around 25 girls had to have their ovaries or wombs removed because of what happened to them in prison? Are you aware that in some of the Islamic Republic’s prisons, the young girls have been forcibly raped during the interrogations?”

My silence is not out of contentment

My silence is not out of contentment

The practice of this crime continued over the following decades. One of the most infamous cases was that of Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian-Canadian journalist murdered in custody in July 2003. Lawyers who followed this case believe that judge Saeed Mortazavi ordered and directed her torture and murder. Another is that of Zahra Baniyaghoub, a medical doctor arrested by security forces in Hamedan. After she was raped and murdered, the authorities announced that she had committed suicide. Then there is the case of Atefeh Rajabi, a 16-year-old girl raped by the judges in the northern town of Neka. Despite her age, the judge Hadji Rezai hastily hanged her for “adultery” personally to cover up the crime. Rezai and a number of security forces officers were arrested in connection with that case, but most of them were released shortly after.

The naughty club crumbles

In what the Iranians, if they have antennae at all, must construe as an ominous development, the Russians have dissociated themselves from the Rat’s holocaust remarks:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement that the Holocaust was “a myth” is “totally unacceptable”, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement Saturday. “Such statements, wherever they come from, contradict the truth and are totally unacceptable,” ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said in the statement. “Attempts to rewrite history, especially as the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II is being marked this year, are an offence to the memory of all victims and all those who fought fascism,” he added. Nesterenko said Ahmadinejad’s comment “does not contribute to creating an international atmosphere that would foster a fruitful dialogue on issues concerning Iran.”

The context is that Obama has scrapped plans for deployment of anti-missile stations in Čzech Republic and Poland, and the Russians understand they are expected to make a quid pro quo. Hitherto Iran has relied upon China and Russia to put commercial policy ahead of anti-nuclear policy in the Security Council. But China is seriously displeased with North Korea, chief member of the bad boys’ club, while Russia’s vote is clearly shifting towards the “crippling sanctions” that will alone preserve Iran from a pre-emptive strike on its nuclear installations.

Whistling in the wind

Rat congratulates Hamid Karzai - one thief to another

Rat congratulates Hamid Karzai - one thief to another

President Rat has stepped forward to congratulate President-re-elect Hamid Karzai of neighbouring Afghanistan on his superbly managed re-election. At least observers from the UN and Europe were thick on the rather dangerous ground this time. The Europeans reckon that about a third of the votes were fraudulent.

So why not briskly disqualify all doubtful votes, hand the presidency to Dr Abdullah Abdullah and send a few shock waves around these corrupt Islamic dictatorships?

Same tune, different words

Choral chanting seems to be a manifestation of political life in Iran, rather like the Madiba shuffle in South Africa, but with less innocent goodwill. ‘Death to America!’ the mullah-cantor cries; ‘Death to America!’ the crowd roars back. ‘Death to Inglees!’ he shouts . . . and so it goes on.

Or did. Not any more. Here a frustrated mullah says his usual chorus lines ─ but the crowd is stubbornly dissident: ‘Death to Russia!’ they respond. ‘Ya Hossein!’, he tries again. ‘Mir Hossein!’ [Mir-Hossein Mousavi] they call back. He has to pack up and go home.

This sort of thing is hugely embarrassing to the dictatorship. Vast and entirely free expressions of public hostility and contempt ridicule the pretensions of the regime before the world. Hence the holding of popular football matches behind closed doors. People continue to express dissent, of course, on public transport and in the Metro.

The Rat in disgrace

Adolf Hitler with Himmler

Adolf Hitler with Himmler

Many Iranians seem to think the Rat will not in fact appear in New York tomorrow, at the General Assembly of the United Nations. The possibilities for humiliation and disgrace are too great. The opposition is well-prepared and will be very public.

On the other hand, he is keen to play the internationally isolated bad boy and tell everybody

The anger of the world’s professional killers is (a source of) pride for us

before he is put in the naughty corner.

Personally I am hoping against hope to see the reappearance of the little halo which Ahmadinejad claimed hovered over his head the last time he spoke there. This time it might be filmed, so that we can all examine the lettering inscribed around its rim: R-A-P-E.

Perhaps when the Twelfth Imam climbs at last out of his well, where he has been occluded for centuries, and gratifies Ahmadinejad and his other faithful, evangelical disciples, he will be seen to have a little bottle-brush moustache and will be recognised as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.

Sepah overheard

Fervent believers

Fervent believers

Someone has posted here a recording of the secure communications during last Friday’s protests of the Basiji and Pastoran policing the demonstrations. Ill-spelt English transcripts are cunningly superimposed in red over the street scenes being referred to.

One patrolman gets very excited: “There are thousands of Green Wave supporters,” he exclaims, “and they are shouting, ’Death to Russia!’ and ‘Doorooghoo’ [liar].” His boss tones him down, telling him not to give actual numbers for the estimated crowds ─ “but just say, ‘Many’ or ‘Few’.”

The donkey keeps digging

One had thought that there was nothing left for the regime to do sufficiently stupid to further expedite its own downfall. One had been wrong.

To mark the end of Ramadan, the Donkey has made a well-publicised statement about torture. Torture is okay, he says. But obtaining the names of people by means of torture is not okay.

This has caused further outrage. To privilege people who are merely in the offing, as possible suspects, over those you are presently torturing is absurd. In any case, if you may not use the information extracted, why are you torturing people in the first place?

A soldier has noted three years ago Time 11.15 pm, On duty, damn military service, it breaks the heart. My girl friend has become a mother, and I am still a soldier!

A soldier has noted three years ago Time 11.15 pm, On duty, damn military service, it breaks the heart. My girl friend has become a mother, and I am still a soldier!

People are not fooled. It is a consistent characteristic of the regime that they seem to think everybody is as stupid as themselves. When Khamenei was first seen here in public, with the media invited to cover in full his long rambling Friday prayers speech to the nation, in which he mentioned both his impartiality and his preference for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, I could see that this was a fool, a revered but somewhat gaga old man, who belonged in a rocking chair on a veranda somewhere. No less dangerous for that, of course, but nevertheless a head full of sawdust. I commented at the time that the regime should institute IQ testing for its senior figures in future.

Too late. The damage has been done. Things are slipping away from the Islamic Republic of Iran.