I don’t like going over this news any more than readers like reading about it; it can, of course, tend towards the depressing. But what is going on in Iran is certainly important, and it behooves the rest of us to ensure that we are up to date on what is happening.
1. The regime, it would appear, got its pound of flesh by getting the reformist Saeed Hajjarian to confess to various, supposed sins. Obviously, the confession was coerced, and just as obviously, the Iranian people know better than to give such coerced confessions any credence whatsoever.
2. Of course, it is not enough for the regime to coerce confessions. It must also try to utterly disband reformist parties. That way, there will be no need to steal elections in the future, because there will be no opposition from which an election needs to be stolen.
3. For a guy who supposedly won an election going away, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems about as popular as does the bubonic plague:
Most Iranian lawmakers stayed away from a party hosted by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Etemad, a reformist daily, cited unidentified members of parliament as saying their absence signaled disappointment at the hardline president’s proposed cabinet following the disputed June election.
Ahmadinejad’s media adviser was not immediately available for comment.
He probably was too ashamed to be at Ahmadinejad’s party.
A young man arrested after the disputed presidential election in Iran says he was raped by his jailers, then questioned by officials who blamed him for the attack and embarrassed him, according to a statement on the party Web site of an Iranian reform leader, Mehdi Karroubi.
Mr. Karroubi, a former speaker of Parliament and presidential candidate, has defied the nation’s top leaders who have tried, with little success, to discredit and silence charges of rape and torture. But Mr. Karroubi warned that this was only a “fragment” of the evidence he had and that if the denials did not stop, he would release even more.
While the young man was not identified, his charges were graphic and emotional, and documented official indifference — even callousness — toward his account.
“I was in prison, I was blindfolded and my hands were tied,” the young man told Mr. Karroubi. “I was beaten nearly to death, and worse than all of that, they did something to me which even unbelievers and idol worshipers would denounce.”
And the government’s response to this and other allegations of abuse?
When a former vice president, the usually rotund cleric Muhammad Ali Abtahi, was shown on television during a courtroom appearance — forced to wear pajamas — he appeared gaunt and haggard. This week, a government official said that was not a sign of abuse, but of Mr. Abtahi’s improved health.
“It is only natural for a person who has gained an excessive amount of weight to come to his senses in prison that being overweight is not good for your mental or physical health,” said the official, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, President Ahmadinejad’s adviser for press affairs, according to Iranian news services.
Ali Akbar Javanfekr, it can safely be said, is utterly and completely inhuman. As are his masters, one might add.