Move over Stockholm Syndrome; make way for the Tehran Effect. If there isn’t yet a name for the phenomenon in which liberal, left-leaning Westerners are captivated by the charms of the Islamic Republic of Iran, there should be.


Next week is the holiday of Purim, marking Jewish survival in ancient Persia after King Ahasuerus’s adviser, Haman, plotted to wipe out the entire community. Traditionally, Jews celebrate it with costume parties, giving gifts and charity, and reading the Book of Esther. According to the Talmud, they should drink so much they cannot differentiate between the evil Haman and Esther’s uncle, the heroic Mordecai.

A 28-person Code Pink delegation in late February traveled to Iran, where they met with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on February 25 in what was described as one of the highlights of the trip.

What was a feminist, human-rights organization doing in Iran? According to their website, the “Peace Delegation” aimed to “give participants a unique chance to understand this much-maligned nation and put a human face on this political struggle.”

I can tell you what they weren’t doing: They weren’t looking out for the interests of the ordinary Iranian people. This is a country that hangs homosexuals and has executed (according to UN figures) at least 33 children since 2013. (Girls can be sentenced to death from the age of nine and boys from 15). Child brides are still married off to older men to be legally raped for the rest of their miserable lives. Iran persecutes minorities – including Christians, Baha’i and Kurds, among others. It basically bans pet dogs and is waging a campaign against environmentalists. (Remember Iranian-Canadian conservationist Kavous Seyyed-Emami who died in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison last year? Code Pink obviously didn’t remember him. Or just doesn’t care.)


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