Iran's FM affirms right to execute gays and blasts U.S. and Israel

Ronzheimer wrote that Zarif answered: "The problem is the aggressive policies of Israel and the USA."

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June 12, 2019 02:58
3 minute read.
People stage a mock hanging as they protest outside German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin.

People stage a mock hanging as they protest outside German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin February 4, 2013, where Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi's was due to deliver a speech.. (photo credit: THOMAS PETER/REUTERS)

 
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In response to questions today in Tehran from a reporter for the mass circulation German paper Bild, the Islamic Republic of Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated his country's lethal homophobic law and its opposition to the Jewish state and the US.

Paul Ronzheimer, a reporter for the Bild, wrote on Twitter that he asked Zarif two questions: "1. Where do you stand regarding Israel's right to exist? 2. How do you deal with the executions of gays?"

Ronzheimer wrote that Zarif answered: "The problem is the aggressive policies of Israel and the USA."

Regarding Iran's execution of gays, Zarif said that: "Our society has moral principles, and according to these principles we live. These are moral principles regarding the behavior of people in general. And that's because the law is upheld and you abide by laws."

Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday: “The UN’s Declaration of Human Rights makes clear that these answers from the Iranian regime are violating basic UN principles. UN members should agree with the Declaration in order to be members. Criminalizing homosexuality violates the Declaration, plain and simple.”

Volker Beck, a German Green party politician and LGBT activist, told the Post: "Zarif makes clear what Iran stands for: contempt for the human rights of homosexuals, women and religious minorities." Beck, who is also a lecturer at the Center for Studies in Religious Sciences (CERES) at the Ruhr University in Bochum, added whoever supports the mullahs knows what they represent. He said that "The hanging of homosexuals and stoning women is considered a moral principle by the Islamists in Tehran."

The Post reported in January that Iran's clerical regime publicly hanged a man based on an anti-homosexual Islamic law. The unidentified man was hanged on January 10 in the southwestern city of Kazeroon.

According to a 2008 British WikiLeaks dispatch, Iran’s mullah regime has executed “between 4,000 and 6,000 gays and lesbians” since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

In 2016, the Post reported that Iran’s regime had executed a gay adolescent that year – the first confirmed execution of someone convicted as a juvenile in the Islamic republic.

Hassan Afshar, 19, was hanged in Arak Prison in Iran’s Markazi Province on July 18, 2016, after he was convicted of “forced male-to-male anal intercourse” in early 2015.

In 2011, Iran’s regime executed three Iranian men after being found guilty of charges related to homosexuality.

The Post report detailing the Iranian regime’s public hanging of the man in January played a role in the announcement by US President Donald Trump’s administration in February that it will be launching a campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality across the globe.

Grenell – who is the administration’s most high-profile openly gay official – told the Post in February that “71 countries criminalize homosexuality and eight will put you to death for being gay. The Trump administration is launching a new push with our European allies to end this human rights outrage.”

The ambassador is spearheading the international effort to stop the persecution of the LGBT community in countries that impose criminal penalties – including the death penalty – on homosexuals.

Grenell credited the Post in a commentary that he wrote on February 1 for the Bild, Europe’s largest paper: “The recent press reports, first carried by The Jerusalem Post, that the Iranian regime publicly hanged a 31-year-old man for being gay, should be a wake-up call for anyone who supports basic human rights. Politicians, the UN, democratic governments, diplomats and good people everywhere should speak up – and loudly.”

“In Iran, where children as young as nine can be sentenced to death, gay teenagers are publicly hanged in order to terrify and intimidate others from coming out. Iran’s horrific actions are on par with the brutality and savagery regularly demonstrated by ISIS,” he added.

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