(Original post by BeastOfSyracuse)
But Iran carries out more executions each year than Saudi Arabia.
True, but Iran also has a population 3-4x as large as Saudi. Also, >90% of the executions in Iran are carried out for drug-trafficking offences, which effect Iran hugely (it has a terrible drug epidemic) given its geographical location as a transit point for drugs entering Europe.
Thus the law is justified on public policy reasons, similar to Singapore. However, I believe the death penalty is wrong in all circumstances, but this isn't, in my mind, a sufficient pretext to tell another nation how to govern. Iran also has some pretty progressive elements
in its drug policy.
Moreover, Iran have recently stated that they will be reforming their drug laws, recognising the unsustainable, and ineffective, number of executions carried out in this regard. Time will tell.
Homosexual acts are still punishable by death in Iran
True, and that is disgusting.
and stoning is still on the Iranian statute books as the penalty for adultery.
True, but not the whole story. In 2012 the penal code introduced hanging as an alternative punishment for adultery, and such sentences are extremely rare as far as I know - with any stoning sentence typically being commuted into a hanging sentence.
Also note the high threshold of proof needed for a conviction of adultery. Although, there are certainly strong concerns about the legality of many confessions extracted and trials in general.
More pressure needs to be put on Iran to clarify its position re: stoning, so that it can be struck off the penal code altogether, and there's no doubt that Iran's laws are deeply sexist, especially its laws relating to divorce and inheritance. But there has been progress made on this, for example only a few days ago its Parliament passed a law that gives female victims of car accidents equal insurance payouts to male victims. Hopefully we will see more of the same.
Iran has assiduously cultivated Shi'a sectarianism, and has been the controlling force behind political parties in Iraq that ran some of the worst death squads (an example would be one of these death squads went to a brothel in Baghdad a couple of years back and killed everyone in there, about 20 women in total; that is the kind of religious fanaticism that the Iranian government promotes). Iran has been an extremely regressive influence on Iraqi politics and society.
I generally agree with this. I don't think there is any evidence to suggest Iran directly orchestrates such acts, but it cannot be denied that Iran funds and arms such groups that have a destabilising effect for its own ends.
Unfortunately the left, because of their tendency to see things in simplistic terms and to perceive the Iranian government as anti-imperialist, then engage in rationalisations and equivocation and convince themselves that somehow the Khomeinist ideology really isn't that bad. The Iranian government is a major regressive force and a promoter of sectarianism in the Middle East, and "but whatabout Saudi" doesn't change that fact
Hmm. I completely agree that the Iranian regime is a fascist theocratic dictatorship that hijacked the 1979 democratic protests with its own brand of violent Islamism, which it maintained by repressing the population aided by Saddam's invasion of Iran during the 80s. But the Iranian population are growing disillusioned with not only the regime, but Islam (in 2012 a police chief in Tehran said that around 50% of the population openly flouted the Ramadan rules of not eating in public), are pretty pro-West, well-educated (>60% of university graduates in the country are female), and the least anti-Semitic in the region.
Therefore, in terms of a natural ally in the region, it is my strong belief that in the LR Iran can be a far better ally to the West than Saudi or Turkey can ever be (just like in the Shah era).