Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ahmadinejad's Record Really Is Questionable

Ahmadinejad takes the US--and the world to task:
"The United States' administrations . . . must recognize that Iran is a big power," he said. "Having said that, we consider ourselves to be a human force and a cultural power and hence a friend of other nations. We have never sought to dominate others or to violate the rights of any other country.

"Those who insist on having hostilities with us, kill and destroy the option of friendship with us in the future, which is unfortunate because it is clear the future belongs to Iran and that enmities will be fruitless."
Which is all well and good, but is does leave some questions-like the questions that Karim Sadjadpour has for Ahmadindejad. Here are a few:
• According to human-rights organizations including Amnesty International, executions have increased four-fold since you became president in 2005, and Iran now executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. Iran also lifted its moratorium on stoning since you became president. And according to Reporters Without Borders, Iran is now the world's "biggest prison for journalists." Do you take pride in your record?

• The prominent human-rights activist Mehrangiz Kar has reported that last August five young men in the city of Hamadan had their hands chopped off as a punishment for theft. Do you agree with such a draconian punishment?

• Two days after the June 12, 2009, presidential election, you declared that Iran is "the most stable country in the world." But the next day nearly three million people, according to the mayor of Tehran, took to the streets to protest the election results. Given your confidence in your popular support, would you grant the opposition a permit to protest, and would you guarantee their safety?

• According to the International Monetary Fund, Iran has one of the highest rates of brain drain in the world, with as many as 100,000 people leaving annually in search of greater economic dignity and political freedom. Economists estimate that the brain drain has accelerated during your presidency. How much does it bother you that many of Iran's top minds are forced to reside abroad?
Read the whole thing.

I'm sure we all can appreciate how exciting it is for a small time thug like Ahmadinejad, from a struggling country like Iran, to come to the West and use the rights it makes available so he can thumb his nose at the leaders of the civilized world.

But when Ahmadinejad says "we have never sought to dominate others or to violate the rights of any other country," we all know that those same sentiments do not apply to how he treats his own people.

And as we already have seen from the protests in his country, Iranians are not nearly as patient with Ahmadinejad as the rest of the world is.

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