Good news, everyone! The Islamic Republic of Iran is no longer executing people for witchcraft. As the New York Times reports:
[UN investigator Ahmed Shaheed’s] report contains the government’s rebuttal to his findings, including its contention that Iran does not prosecute anyone on the basis of ethnicity. He gave credit to the government for a new penal code that removes references to witchcraft, apostasy and heresy. […]
In worse news, Iran’s list of capital crimes remains long, and Shaheed’s primary finding is that human rights violations in Iran are bad and getting worse:
From July 2013 to June 2014, Mr. Shaheed’s report says, at least 852 people were executed, in what he called an alarming increase from rates that were already high.Among those put to death were at least eight juvenile offenders and four minority Arabs whom Mr. Shaheed described as “cultural rights activists. […]”Girls as young as 9 can be married, so long as a court gives its blessings. “Nonconsensual sexual relations in marriage” are allowed under the law. A woman trying to leave an abusive marriage must prove “a significant risk of bodily harm,” while a woman seeking a divorce on the grounds of domestic violence must prove that the violence is “intolerable.”
The gruesome report highlights the absurdity of Western politicos praising the “moderate” President Rouhani. The United States has better relations with regimes that are as bad or worse than Iran. China last year executed more than 2,000 people, and Saudi Arabia is no slouch when it comes to oppressing women and beheading political dissidents. But in dealing with Iran’s monsters there’s no need to pretend that the sham election of a “moderate” who has no power other than what the hardliners permit will somehow lead to a kinder, friendlier Iran, as the New York Times optimistically speculated last year.That kind of clear-eyed understanding about the leaders we are dealing with in Tehran is important, not least because the Obama administration seems to be attempting a kind of rapprochement with the regime in Iraq and Syria, presumably in an attempt to facilitate the nuclear talks. The deadline for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is set for the end of next month, and there is skepticism that any deal will be reached. Perhaps the United States should consider the extent to which it is willing to turn a blind eye to butchery and child rape if there is little to be gained from the hypocrisy.