Roger L. Simon

Iran Update - Useful Fools of the Financial Times

Gareth Smyth, Tehran correspondent of the Financial Times, has this to say about the current crisis in Iran: For many viewers in Arab and Muslim countries, the contrast with the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib would have been self-evident.

Say what? I thought this guy was Tehran correspondent. As every citizen of that city (evidently except Mr. Smyth) knows full well, their Evin Prison is one of the worst hellholes on the planet, from which many people never emerge alive. It makes Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo seem like country clubs. (Indeed reports from Guantanamo indicate it really is.)

In fact, the presence of places like Evin Prison are what keeps the Iranian regime in place. I recently (last week) met a man who spent many years there, one of the leaders of the Iranian student movement. They used to torture his brother (also a student leader) in front of him. Then switch back and forth. The man now has his face entirely pushed in and looks like a Picasso. The brother was ultimately murdered in that prison. The man I met escaped with the aid of friends through Kurdish territories. I wonder if Mr. Smyth would like to interview him. It could be arranged. But then he might have trouble holding onto his press clearances in Tehran.