After hearing the authors blame the United States exclusively for the hostile relations between the U.S. and Iran, I asked them whether there was anything Iran has possibly done which might be construed as contributing to the current tensions between the two countries?
“In terms of what Iran has done, I’m really not interested in keeping score,” Flynt said, despite the fact he spent the previous hour delineating seemingly every minor and major detail of what he believed were wrongheaded actions by the United States toward Iran.
How about on human rights, I asked? Does the way Iran abuses and kills gays and persecutes the Baha’i, among other groups, concern you both at all? Is the Iranian regime’s human rights record a legitimate concern of the international community?
“I think there are, you know, obviously very serious questions about human rights on multiple fronts in Iran,” Flynt said, which is about as much criticism of the Iranian regime as he was able to muster.
Of course, he added, the U.S. is in no position to lecture Iran on human rights.
“As a matter of U.S. foreign policy, call me jaded, but I think that for the U.S., particularly in this part of the world, to try to make itself the champion of human rights given the utterly self-serving and selective way it has used the human rights issue in this part of the world, you know, to use it when it is convenient as a weapon against adversaries and absolutely to ignore it in cases where human rights are being very obviously abused — but by governments or by, you know, regimes we want to support and we want to work with — I think the U.S. government simply has no credibility to address human rights issues in Iran or in the Middle East more broadly,” he said.
And when the two are not refusing to criticize the Iranian regime, they are busy praising it.
“[I]t is a country that actually delivers for women,” Hillary claimed about a country where a woman’s testimony in court is worth half a man’s, where a woman can be punished by the government for dressing immodestly, where a woman needs her husband or male guardian’s permission to obtain a passport and where rape is allegedly used by the regime as a method of interrogation and punishment.
“[B]ecause it is an Islamic framework the government has been able to make investments and institute policies that have transformed the role of women —transformed the role of women — that give universal access to women from pre-school to PhD so that today the majority of students in all the universities … are women,” Hillary argued.
And that’s not all.