But wait, Ahmadinejad said there aren’t any in Iran. So Mohsen Yahyavi must be speaking in strictly theoretical terms, right? Wrong. Sharia Alert. “Gays should be hanged, says Iranian minister,” by Dominic Kennedy for the The Times:
Homosexuals deserve to be executed or tortured and possibly both, an Iranian leader told British MPs during a private meeting at a peace conference, The Times has learnt.
Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranked politician to admit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality after a spate of reports that gay youths were being hanged.
President Ahmadinejad, questioned by students in New York two months ago about the executions, dodged the issue by suggesting that there were no gays in his country.
Britain regularly challenges Iran about its gay hangings, stonings and executions of adulterers and perceived moral criminals, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) papers show.
The latest row involves a woman hanged this June in the town of Gorgan after becoming pregnant by her brother. He was absolved after expressing his remorse. Britain said that this demonstrated the unequal treatment of men and women in law and breached Iran’s pledge to restrict the death penalty to the most serious crimes.
Part of the problem there is an obviously different sense of what constitutes a “serious crime.”
A series of reported executions of gays, including two underage boys whose public hanging was posted on the internet, has alarmed human rights campaigners.
Minutes taken by an official describe a meeting between British and Iranian MPs at the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a peace body, in May. When the Britons raised the hangings of Asqari and Marhouni, the leader of the Iranian delegation, Mr Yahyavi, a member of his parliament’s energy committee, was unflinching. He “explained that according to Islam gays and lesbianism were not permitted”, the record states. “He said that if homosexual activity is in private there is no problem, but those in overt activity should be executed [he initially said tortured but changed it to executed]. He argued that homosexuality is against human nature and that humans are here to reproduce. Homosexuals do not reproduce.”
So it’s fine as long as you don’t get caught, but if you do, you die a horrible death. There’s some forward-thinking morality.