Not that the rest of the world doesn’t have its share of bad news, but this is just a reminder of who it is we are dealing with in Iran. (Or, more correctly, who the President may be dealing with.) Since becoming president last year, Hassan Rouhani has overseen Iran’s execution of 967 people. The latest one was Reyhaneh Jabbari. Her crime was stabbing – and probably not even killing – the man who was trying to rape her.
Amnesty International denounced “another bloody stain” on Iran’s human rights record on Saturday when a 26-year-old woman was executed for allegedly killing a man who she said was intent on rape.
Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged at dawn in Rajaie Shahr prison outside Tehran after spending seven years behind bars. She was the 967th person to be executed since Hassan Rouhani took office as Iran’s president on 4 Aug 2013, according to the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre.
The state media announced that Miss Jabbari had been put to death after the family of the man she was accused of killing declined to grant a reprieve. Her mother, Shole Pakravan, confirmed the execution and said she was going to a cemetery to identify her daughter’s corpse.
I really don’t care to turn this into yet another debate over the death penalty. We certainly execute our fair share of people in the United States – at least in some of the states – but they tend to be maniacal, murdering monsters. In America, I don’t think this woman would have done a single night in jail for this. And now she’s dead, hanged before a crowd in a prison courtyard.
Rouhani may be only a puppet for the real power in Iran (read: the Supreme Leader and the Council of Guardians), but he is a willing puppet. Iran’s government is not yet part of the 20th century, say nothing of the 21st, with the exception their aspirations toward tactical weapons capability. And that’s kind of a shame, because it seems as if at least some of their young people in the more urban areas have adopted something of a westernized lifestyle. Whether that translates into any sort of desire for a less medieval, theocratic oppression of their lives among some sort of “moderate” segment of the population remains to be seen. But for the time being, embracing Iran as any sort of partner in international relations is a pipe dream.