Daniel M. Cohen

Caitlyn Jenner’s Summer Plans Should Not Include a Visit to Tehran

Caitlyn Jenner, the B-Lister formerly known as Bruce Jenner, has been described as “bold”, “courageous” and “stunning”. Her interview with Diane Sawyer took the world by storm and, last week, the surprise Vanity Fair cover showing her “post-transition” became one of the most popular links trending on social media. Sadly, were she to visit Tehran during her travels this summer recent events suggest the next image of her would likely show her hanging from an Iranian crane.

The fact is, Iran is as extreme as ever and shows no signs of changing their approach… even as they “negotiate” a nuclear deal with the P5+1. Here is just a bit of what “progressive” Iran has been up to lately…

1. A recent UN report found that Iran continues to imprison Christians for their faith and designates house churches – small Christian gatherings intended for worship – and even evangelical Christians as “threats to national security”

2. A United Nations special report on Iranian human rights abuses released on March 11 found that there has been no improvement in human rights under the current regime. The “general situation of human rights in Iran, pointing to “widespread and systemic” torture, as well as the harassment, arrest and attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists.”

“The prevailing situation of human rights in Iran continues to warrant serious concern, and will require a wide range of solutions that are both respectful of cultural perspectives and mindful of the universality of fundamental human rights promulgated by the treaties to which Iran is a party,” said the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed.

3. Iran has been executing people at a mind-blowing pace. All least 753 people executed in 2014 and 2015 appears to continue the trend. Executions, often accomplished by hanging people from construction cranes, are now up to at least two per day.

4. HBO’s Vice reported that gay Iranians have been forced to surgically undergo gender changes. As the program notes, “…gay men who are not transgender are compelled to have what would normally be gender-affirmative surgery if they were indeed trans. For many if not all of these men, it’s a matter of living as someone they are not for the rest of their lives following surgery — or facing execution.

5. Two-thirds of Iranian women are victims of domestic violence. Their rights are far from secure. In fact, after 7 years in prison Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was recently hanged for killing a man she said tried to rape her. In her final message to her family she said she would have justice “in the court of God.” This because she found no justice in the Iranian regime’s “legal system.”

6. Journalists who are critical of the Iranian regime are jailed. There is little to no due-process applied when this occurs.
Just one example- Iranian authorities charged The Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief, Jason Rezaian, with “espionage for the hostile govt of the US and three other serious crimes, including “collaborating with hostile governments” and “propaganda against the establishment.” His “trial” was closed to the press.

7. In the last two years, over 350 people have been imprisoned just because their religious beliefs are not in lockstep with the Iranian regime.

The list goes on and on…and these are the people with whom we are about to make a deal with regard to nuclear weapons? These are the people we are supposed to trust? Let’s take a step back and look at the situation with clarity. How can the civilized world NOT be concerned? How can the civilized world not have serious questions and doubts about the Iranian regime’s claims that they are negotiating in good faith? And let us remember… we are not talking about slingshots and pea shooters… we are talking about nuclear weapons being in the hands of a regime that not only terrorizes its own people but is also the largest exporter of global terror.

American security and global stability deserve more that mere words from those whose actions display the darkest aspects of human behavior. A bad deal will be a disaster for all we hold dear. We should… and can… have serious doubts.

And Caitlyn, a word of advice, stay as far away from Tehran as possible this summer.

#Caitlyn #CaitlynJenner #Iran

About the Author
Rabbi Daniel Cohen was ordained in 1993 by the HUC-JIR and has served Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel since 1993. An avid technology geek, for fun he writes for the tech blog Gear Diary.
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