November 30, 2009

Iran Dishonors Itself, Again

After the American Century

No other nation has ever sunk so low since the Nobel Peace Prize was first given a century ago. In 2003 the recipient was Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer who has championed democracy and freedom of speech. She put the prize itself in a safe deposit box for safekeeping. Now the prize has been taken, not by bank robbers, but by the Iranian government itself. The government has also stopped paying her pension and blocked access to her own bank accounts. Last year it forcibly closed her law offices. The rule of law is not the strong point of this regime.

The world already knew that they lied about their capacity to produce plutonium. The world already knew that its June elections were irregular, to say the least. The world already knew that the Iranian government brutally suppressed the demonstrations against the flawed election. And it already knew that many of these same peaceful demonstrators have now been condemned to death or life imprisonment. And the world also knows that Iran's falsely elected president, whom I refuse to name here, has repeatedly said that the Holocaust never happened, while denouncing Israel's right to exist.

Now the regime in Iran has signaled its contempt for the Nobel Peace Prize, by stealing it from Shirin Ebadi. No government has ever done such a thing. This is not really a government, however, but a fundamentalist dictatorship that will stop at nothing to suppress its people.

This outrage apparently is connected - in the minds of the Iranian regime - with its current defiance of the UN on the production of plutonium. It seems signal that they do not care what anyone else thinks about them, that indeed they are spoiling for a fight and would like to drag the Peace Prize into it. Perhaps they imagine that they have dishonored the Prize. All they have done, again and again, is to dishonor themselves.

It appears that the Iranian regime is trying to provoke someone to take action against them.

My sympathies go out to Shirin Ebadi and to the Iranian people.