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A Stay Of Execution In Iran And The Insolence Of The West

The thugs who run Iran watched patiently as the news cycle passed. When they thought the coast was clear, they declared again their intent to carry out capital punishment against a woman based on the oppressive laws of Shariah. But the world had not forgotten the tragic case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and the regime backed down, citing the "insolence" of the West.

May we always be so insolent. An excerpt from Bernard Henri-Levi's excellent essay, Sakineh, Ahmadinejad, and the "Insolents":

The first comes from the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Manouchehr Mottaki, telling his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner that "the authorities of justice had not pronounced the final verdict in the affair concerning Sakineh Ashtiani" -- a discreet, to say the least, way of making one (temporarily) forget the letter addressed by the Supreme Court of Tehran to the application of sentences office of Tabriz prison instructing that the young woman be executed as rapidly as possible.


And the second, from M. Mehmanparast, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reported by the Isna press agency, regrets that the Westerners have the "insolence" to transform "the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who has committed crimes and is guilty of betrayal, an affair of human rights". What insolence, indeed, M. Mehmanparast insists, to have made of "her case a symbol of the liberty of women" and to "use a simple case (the criminal law case) as a means of pressure against Iran".


Ah, what a lovely way to express things. And how elegantly put the ire of the Iranian government. Fortunate "insolence", in any event! Happy mobilization that has transformed Sakineh's face into a global icon, a symbol, and thus put off, for the time being, the date of her expected death!


For me, of course, the struggle continues. It continues even more than ever. For a stay of execution is not a pardon. And, lamentably, execution of the sentence can still occur, and at any moment.


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