The mullahs have declared Carla Bruni, aka Mrs. Nicholas Sarkozy, aka France’s First Lady, a prostitute, in response to her letter to an Iranian woman sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery. If ever there were a case of the pot calling the kettle black, this is it. The Islamic Republic is a thoroughly corrupt regime that pauperizes its people while the top dogs live in luxury that would be the envy of a Hollywood star.
I use “top dogs” carefully, because in recent days a leading ayatollah has banned all advertisements for dogs, their food, stores that cater to them, or indeed anything having to do with them, in Khamenei’s domain. This is the latest in a series of ukases or fatwas devoted to the elimination of the pursuit of happiness. Music and fun haircuts have been recently banned, and of course the color green has been banished long since.
On the other hand, prostitution is blessed. It’s not called prostitution, mind you, but it’s hard to call the “temporary marriage” center operating out of a shrine in Mashad as anything other than that. The man pays some money and gets some sex. What do you call that?
Don’t forget that the Islamic Republic rests on misogyny. Khomeini, the founding tyrant, hated women and undid a century of Persian progress in a few years. Someone on Twitter the other night said that Supreme Leader Khamenei had counseled some of the regime’s torturers and rapists to make sure the women they violated were properly dressed. It may have been an attempt at humor, I don’t know, but it does reflect a state of mind.
It’s hard for Westerners to imagine what’s going on in Iran these days, namely a state that has lost all legitimacy in the eyes of its subjects, in which the rulers are fighting each other for shards of power and scraps of graft. Perhaps the most revealing recent anecdote comes from a newspaper report about the Revolutionary Guards spying on political leaders:
Rah-e-Sabz claims that the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps had installed monitoring systems in a seven-story building frequented by high-ranking politicians.
Last week some of the politicians detected the surveillance and, unaware of who carried it out, asked the Ministry of Intelligence to check the building. The Ministry denied responsibility and sent technical specialists, who inevitably discovered many IRGC cameras and microphones. As the specialists were leaving, they were accosted by a group of Revolutionary Guard. A fight followed, with guns even being drawn.