As the world continues to do little more than wring its hands over the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear ambitions, what passes for a government in Tehran is preparing to stone to death a mother of two for the crime of adultery (breaking news update, the Iranian regime may not stone the accused to death, but rather, execute her using a different method due to growing international outrage). Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, 43, was convicted in 2006 and has already been punished with a flogging of 99 lashes (such a punishment can, in and of itself, be life-threatening).
I wrote about this barbaric Iranian practice last year when I reviewed Cyrus Nowrasteh's hauntingly chilling and award-winning film "The Stoning of Soraya M." on Big Hollywood. If you haven't seen it you should.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is notorious for other reasons too. In 2007, an Iranian member of parliament, Moshen Yahyavi, admitted that Iran applies the death penalty for homosexual acts (joining such other stalwart member states of the UN such as Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Nigeria).
Iranian president Ahmadinejad infamously said in 2007 that there were no gays in his country after he was asked by students in New York about the hangings of two teenagers "convicted" of homosexuality.
All this matters because a nation's dealings with its own people serve to as a window on how that nation views the rest of humanity. Thus, when President Ahmadinejad says the Holocaust never happened and darkly says that Israel is "doomed" we must view his remarks in the context of his being the leader of a nation that stones women (never men) for adultery while hanging homosexuals.
Nations, as with people, cannot be perfect. Nations, also as with people, can be bent towards good or evil. The Islamic Republic of Iran is an evil regime. Iran's leaders are determined to acquire a nuclear weapons arsenal and, unlike other nuclear-armed regimes led by men of ill-intent, the leadership of Iran claims to believe in martyrdom as a way to usher in the Hidden Imam, the Messiah-like figure of Shia Islam, and with this 12th Imam, a Millennial Age. Such motivations cannot be deterred in the conventional Cold War sense as America's nuclear arsenal deterred the old Soviet Union (officially atheist Communist leaders aren't big on personal martyrdom).
As the Islamic Republic of Iran's uranium centrifuges spin towards nuclear midnight, think about the nature of regime that seeks to acquire the tools of atomic destruction.