Iran spy chief questioned after letting gay US politician into country

According to a 2008 British Wikileaks dispatch, Iran executed between 4,000 to 6,000 gays and lesbians between the start of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 to 2008.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 26, 2016 16:53
1 minute read.
 Mahmoud Alavi

Iran's top spy Mahmoud Alavi . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Iran's top spymaster was harshly criticized by the country's parliament on Wednesday after it was discovered that he secretly invited an openly-gay American politician to the Islamic Republic, according to Al-Arabiya.

Under questioning, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi confirmed that Democratic Utah State Senator Jim Dabakis had traveled to the country last month and “was kept under full surveillance during his secret visit."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Homosexuality in Iran is against the law and is punishable by imprisonment, corporal punishment, or by execution. 

Alavi also noted that no one had objected to Dabakis' previous visit to Iran in 2010, when former president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, whose government was supported by hardliners, was in power, Al-Arabiya reported.

The inquiry took place after Dabakis revealed during a television interview with a local Salt Lake City  broadcaster that he was part of a delegation that traveled to the Islamic Republic last month.


(Democratic Utah State Senator Jim Dabakis. Photo By: Reuters)

“The people in Iran love Americans. We could not go down any city street without people following us, talking to us and inviting us to their home,” he told KUTV.



During his six-day stay, Dabakis said he visited Tehran and Isfahan, adding that he hoped to make another journey to the country in May.

“I’ll invite a diverse group including community leaders and talk to the LDS church to see if they want to send a representative,” said Dabakis.

The LDS Church is better known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or as the Mormon Church.

Earlier this year, Iran executed a gay adolescent  - the first confirmed execution of someone convicted as a juvenile in the Islamic Republic in 2016 - according to a report by Amnesty International.

Hassan Afshar, 19, was hanged in Arak Prison in Iran's Markazi Province on July 18, after he was convicted of  "forced male-to-male anal intercourse" (‘lavat-e be onf’) in early 2015, the NGO said in a statement.

According to a 2008 British Wikileaks dispatch, Iran executed between 4,000 to 6,000 gays and lesbians between the start of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 to 2008.

Benjamin Weinthal contributed to this article.

 

Related Content

People walk in front of banners with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during preparations for
July 17, 2018
Egypt targets social media, journalists with new law

By REUTERS