As our leaders, hypnotized by the cobra’s fatal dance and entranced by the fakir’s music, stand immobile while the mullahs complete their nuclear program, it may be useful for the rest of us to maintain a clear-eyed understanding of the nature of the most formidable terror regime in the world. Would that our oxymoronic intelligence community and the feckless foreign service paid attention, but that would be more difficult than liberating Iran itself. Two recent events provide the basic profile.
First is the story of Sheikh Rasini of Tehran, a religious leader of middling importance who attracted the attention of some of the more sober officials of the Revolutionary Guard in the mid-Nineties. It seems Rasini was spending a lot of time in the intimacy of young boys, and showed other signs of corruption. The Guardians of the Revolution objected, and took their complaints to the Ayatollah Milani, who duly issued a fatwa authorizing a violent death for the sheikh. But Rasini turned the tables on his accusers and had them thrown into the nightmarish Evin Prison in Tehran, where Milani and the others were killed.
Rasini continued his active support of gay marriage until, a couple of months ago, he was surprised en flagrante and hauled before an Islamic tribunal for his conjugal activities with one Amir. The situation looked grave for the sheikh until the mullahs came up with an imaginative solution. Amir was “converted” to the opposite sex by some of Tehran’s finest surgeons, thereby removing–quite literally–the basis for the accusation.
Amir is now Zohreh, and she and her sheikh may well live happily for the foreseeable future.
Then comes the story of Mehdi Derayati, also of Tehran, whose midadventures were reported a couple of days ago by ILNA, the Islamic Labor News Agency. Mehdi Derayati is a young Iranian who worked for a while with some internet news sites that apparently published some stuff that offended the mullahcracy. Like hundreds of young Iranians who enrage the mullahs, Mehdi was summarily rounded up and carted off…who knows where. It’s a very common occurrence in the country that our Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, calls a “democracy,” and it would hardly be worth mentioning were it not for Mehdi’s lineage. For he is the son of Mustafa Derayati, the personal adviser on clerical affairs to President Khatami.
Mustafa Derayati was so upset at the mistreatment of his boy that he gave a public interview. “All we have had is a few phone calls from him, we know he has been arrested but no law-enforcement authority is telling us where he is. They just say we have acted in accordance with our duties.”
To which my pen pal Potkin Azarmehr neatly adds, “Well there you go. So much for Khatami’s “Civil Society” which fooled so many gullible anti-Americans in Europe. Here is an example of an Islamic Civil Society where the president’s adviser is unable to find out where his son is incarcerated. What hope for the ordinary Iranian parents searching for their abducted sons or daughters?”
When people ask me why the Iranian people so hate the regime, I begin telling them stories like these, because no list of adjectives, no amount of statistics on social misery, child prostitution, unemployment, corruption of the elite, or drug addiction can convey the horror of this murderous tyranny. If a mullah is caught committing an act that would automatically lead to the death penalty for an ordinary citizen, the problem is “fixed” by a sex-change operation on his partner. But even the son of a counselor to the president can be “vanished” without any accountability.
Can you imagine these creatures with atomic bombs? And yet the U.N. issues yet another “deadline” for the end of November, the European Union preens itself on its avoidance of conflict, even with evil, the president speaks bravely but does nothing to support freedom in Iran, and his challenger lets it be known that, if elected, he will offer the mullahs the same misguided nuclear deal that has already failed in North Korea.
–Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen is Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.