How do we really explain the peculiar Iran nuclear negotiations that seem to have been going on for the better part of the last decade? What is holding these people together? It couldn’t be more obvious the whole thing is a charade orchestrated by the Iranians with the cooperation of Obama. It could have been short-circuited by the inevitable — simply shipping a few nukes to Tehran on a spare aircraft carrier and kissing Israel and maybe half of Lebanon goodbye. But both sides insist on playing this game, talking the talk until our heads spin.
So what’s going on here? Then I remembered this documentary I’d seen — In the Bazaar of Sexes — about temporary marriage in Iran. From the website:
It is said that Muhammad once advised his followers to enter into temporary marriages while travelling. According to tradition, the Prophet approved of such short-term alliances under certain circumstances, such as during wartime or while on pilgrimage. In Arabic, this practice of temporary marriage is called mut’a (pleasure); in Farsi it is known as sighe.
For every temporary marriage, the man has to pay a pre-determined sum to his short-term wife. The duration of a sighe is set out in the marriage contract. From just a few hours to several years; anything is possible. There is only one restriction: after each sighe, a woman must wait two menstrual periods before marrying again.
An aged mullah in the film finds this rule sensible: “If a woman is constantly getting married, then what is the difference from prostitution?”
Good question. Nevertheless, now we know. John Kerry and Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif have been engaged in a temporary marriage. Well, they say Zarif is charming. And yes, there are problems. We know what Iran does to homosexuals. It’s a lot worse than Indiana, I can assure you. Nevertheless, Kerry and Zarif seem to have been a happy couple — for a while anyway. And this is 2015, the year kink came out of the closet with the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey.