I planned to touch on this a few days ago. Ever since I read this story about a planned crackdown in Iran on female drivers and subsequently thought of President Obama’s Nuclear Deal with that country’s theocracy — the one that routinely throws his overtures back in his face, regardless of whether he’s aware of it or even cares — I’ve felt agitated. The crackdown and disastrous deal came one after the other.
Really, I hate even having to post this. The intelligent, beautiful women of Iran surely deserve better. If they were the ones calling the shots instead of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the Middle East might have a chance. Nevertheless…
From the International Business Times:
Iranian women are being warned against driving with loosely held veils or no head covering. Women found driving without the appropriate head covering will have their cars seized, according to a police official on 2 September.
According to the head of Tehran’s traffic police, General Teymour Hosseini, once a woman’s car is seized, court permission will be required to retain the car. “If a [female] driver in a car is poorly veiled or has taken her veil off, the vehicle will be seized in accordance with the law,” said Hosseini, reported AFP News.
Iran’s judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani had touched on the same point a few days earlier when he said: “Unfortunately, some streets of the capital have come to resemble fashion salons.”
Earlier in 2014, a Facebook page was launched against the female head covering hijab by Iranian women calling out for their rights. Several women were featured on the Facebook page without veils.
“One of the first acts of this regime was to impose compulsory veiling and suppress a huge protest on 8 March 1979 to mark International Women’s Day,” said political activist Maryam Namazie.
“The veil – like many other medieval rules – has been imposed by sheer force, including with morality police harassing women and girls, fines and even imprisonment.”
In similar news from Saudi Arabia, a female student was allegedly pushed off a bus by a male supervisor for not having covered her face behind a veil.
Like I said, Iran and in particular, it’s women, deserve better. I’m speaking from the heart when I say that the only thing that can save this seemingly Godforsaken region — consumed in civil wars, terrorism, and failed revolutions that are churning out the worst refugee crisis the world has seen since World War II — is an uprising led by young Iranians eager for change. That, and perhaps the establishment of a free and independent Kurdish state(s) in Iraq and Syria, complemented by a successful peace process in Turkey (that of course is another story, as tensions are running high between Turks and Kurds at the moment).
It gets worse though, and this is what has upset me the most. When all is said and done and President Obama gets his way, this groundbreaking new crackdown program could very well be funded and empowered by some of the tens of billions of dollars in assets the United States will be sending into the pockets of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as part of the deal being signed (in exchange for basically nothing). Think about that for a second, and how sad it is. It’s especially disappointing because it didn’t have to be this way.
For now, Iranian women will have to put up with this…and their oppressors will continue making Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry look naive, foolish, or worse, complicit. All while they ramp up executions, send funds to any terrorist organization they please, and pour gasoline on the inferno raging in Syria, where they are doing everything possible to save dictator Bashar al-Assad.
As John Mayer says, we’ll just have to wait on the world to change. One day, just maybe, Iran’s history of moderation and Sufi mysticism might catch up with the tyranny and set the equilibrium in the Middle East right again.