Iran Denounces Saudi Arabia For Execution Of Shiite Cleric As A Denial Of Free Speech

125px-Flag_of_Iran.svg125px-Flag_of_Saudi_Arabia.svgWith the rising tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia over the execution of Sheikh Nimir al-Nimir, there is a wonderfully ironic element as Iran has accused Saudi Arabia of stifling free speech by a cleric who merely disagreed with the regime. Iran of course is the government that has beaten and killed protesters calling for basic rights. We have regularly commented on Saudi Arabia’s medieval Sharia system as well as Iran’s suppression of free speech. Both countries regularly decapitate people and hang or crucify people in the name of Islamic values. Now both countries are exchanging insults about how the other is an extremist regime.

Al-Namir was a key leader in the Arab Spring protests in Saudi Arabia before his arrest in 2012.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the execution and said that al-Nimr “neither invited people to take up arms nor hatched covert plots. The only thing he did was public criticism.” You will recall that this is the same Khamenei who stood back and watched as a cartoonist was arrested for mocking the Parliament and protesters were beaten for seeking freedom.

In the meantime, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which has been routinely connected to terrorism, compared Saudi Arabia to ISIS and denounced Saudi Arabia’s “medieval act of savagery” in putting al-Nimir death. Sort of like the medieval savagery countenanced under Iran’s Sharia legal system like pouring acid in the eyes of prisoners or throwing men down rocky hills in a burlap bag.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi went to Twitter to proclaim how “peaceful opposition is a fundamental right. Repression does not last.” That will come as welcomed news to those people rotting in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

103 thoughts on “Iran Denounces Saudi Arabia For Execution Of Shiite Cleric As A Denial Of Free Speech”

  1. Po…..please site specifics “of our current work against Iran”. Cliff notes version, please.

  2. The rumors about israeli activities were just side facts to the main issues. Don’t know them to be true…and matters little, this is about us, not them.
    Interesting that you ignored those but focused on that.
    What do you think of our “work”against Iran?
    Should they be justified in being suspicious? .

  3. thanks for the “rumors ” about Isreali activities. Of course, the Isrealis felt equally threatened by the ashah, given his cheer leading of the “Death to Isreal” slogan.
    Correction: that started AFTER the Shah.

  4. Po……the 1953 U.S./U.K. backed coupe will forever be used by Ianians as THE reason all or most past, current, and future problems in Iran.
    The “Iranian reset” of the Carter anministration……encouraging the Shah to leave, welcoming in Khomeni…..may have been in recognition of past U.S. interference in Iran.
    Americans will be forever grateful to the generous response of this “new era” by the Iranians, who took over the U.S. Embassy and held hostages for 440 days.
    Really a great start.

    1. Spoken by one bathing in white privilege.
      Hey, we effed you up, but we sorta made it up to you, so get over it…meanwhile, we’ll keep trying to efff you up!

      Tom how about this: we stop meddling into their affairs, stop threatening them, stop hacking their systems, stop killing their scientists, stop supporting S.Arabia and Israel against them…stop funding known terrorist groups inside Iran…
      “”Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Treasury opened investigations into former government officials who have been paid speaking fees by the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian resistance group officially listed as a terrorist organization.

      The subpoenaing of former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh and retired Gen. Hugh Shelton has cast an harsh light on other U.S. officials, including former New York City Mayor Rudi Giuliani and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, as well as the organization they publicly support.

      They (MEK) are still on the terrorist list. The laws still apply. It is illegal in every sense of the word to finance them right now, said Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council, a non-partisan community organization based in Washington.

      The actual sum being paid to these officials is vague, but judging by the fees handed to certain individuals, the total could be in the millions. For example, Rendell was allegedly paid $150,000 for seven or eight speeches, according to reports. Giuliani, who spoke in at a conference in Paris, France on behalf of Iranian resistance figures alongside 18 other international guests, has been known to charge up to $100,000 for a single appearance and sometimes demands private jets to charter him to appearances.

      Other former U.S. officials told the New York Times that the American supporters of MEK received between $15,000 and $30,000 per speech, yet others said they made appearances for free.

      Where does an organization based in an Iraqi refugee camp for the last 25 years get so much money? While MEK has organized rallies and campaigns to have it delisted as a terrorist group in the past, it has never, by all accounts, spent the amount of money it has over the past year.

      Currently, there are rumors that the Israeli secret service is paying MEK to carry out assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. Three unnamed U.S. government officials told NBC news last month that Mossad had trained and paid MEK militants to conduct a spate of car bombings against targets like Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a university chemistry professor who doubled as a director of Iran’s Natanz uranium-enrichment facility, who was killed in Tehran in January after two assailants on a motorcycle attached a magnetic bomb to his Peugeot 405.

      MEK called the allegations outright false, but Israel has neither denied nor confirmed its own involvement in the attack.

      If the NBC report is true, Israel would not be the first government to pay for MEK’s military expertise; from 1980 until the invasion of Iraq in 2003, MEK was funded by Saddam Hussein. Following the adage the enemy of my enemy is my friend, MEK joined Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War and fought viciously against the Ayatollah’s forces. MEK made Camp Ashraf, which is about 55 miles north of Baghdad, its permanent headquarters in 1986.

      Some estimate that Hussein was paying as much as $30 million a month for at least 10 months — some of it allegedly run-off from the UN’s failed Oil-for-Food program — for MEK’s services, which included strikes against Kurdish and Shia rebels in Iraq.””

  5. Paul C. Schulte.
    1, January 6, 2016 at 4:04 am
    po – I will answer for Karen. Depends.
    On who does it?

        1. Po…….you quoted Paul Craig Roberts at length in a post above. Do you agree with his position that that Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris were an American operation?

          1. I actually believe that the French were the ones involved, whether in allowing the event to go unchecked, or in being he hidden hand that made use of hapless “jihadis”.

        2. My first reading assignment in college was War and Peace, and I felt a little guilty about buying the Cliff Notes after reading “only” about 500 pages.
          Po, if there a Cliff notes version of your commentary?

          1. There is no cliff notes to facts, Tom!
            Desiring a shortcut to knowledge is the source of all ignorance.

            Are you interested in debating facts and ideas or are you a cross between Paul and Nick, throwing rocks for you cannot face the heat?

            1. Po……there are some advantages in being consice. I’ll take that over filibustering.

              1. As I said, Tom, ignorance is a curse for most…a blessing for some.
                Wouldn’t it be easier/healthier for you to just ignore me?
                Why do you think Nick never directly addresses me anymore and instead only obliquely?
                You keep challenging me and it never goes well for you… definition of insanity
                I am armed with facts and snark, you are armed with snark… this is suicide 🙂
                Let it go, friend!

                1. Po…….given that there are no Cliff note versions of The Po Commentary, ignoring your brilliant (we have your word on that) commentary is an attractive alternative.
                  Good luck if you ever find anything else to do.

                  1. Tom, if it were that much of an attractive alternative, one woulda thought you would have implemented it already!
                    I suspect your lingering while threatening to ignore my (brilliant) commentary does fill a certain void somewhere.
                    As I said, you are welcome 🙂

    1. Po…….Given that Americans routinely gather and chant “Death to Iran”, of course our hostile intentions are more evident to you.

      1. Tom, as far back I can recall, Iran never:
        fomented a coup in the US, removing an elected leader out of power
        supported Israel in hacking Iranian systems and murdering its top scientists
        supported our neighbor and armed it to wage a war against us that cost us millions of casualties
        created a political-military coalition around the threat of bombing us.
        You are welcome…the more you know!
        Ted Cruz Threatens to Assassinate Iran’s Supreme Leader
        Another day, another major US politician casually calling for regime change in Iran.
        By Adam Johnson / AlterNet September 25, 2015

  6. Tom Nash
    1, January 6, 2016 at 2:08 am
    Karen S. How can the Iranians be considered a threat to us, when their favorite slogan is “Long live America”……. Or something like that.
    Tom, the facts are …by action and rhetoric…we are a bigger threat to Iran than Iran is to us.
    Let me know if you need backing for my statement.
    Unless you have your own to counter it.

  7. Nick Spinelli
    1, January 6, 2016 at 10:11 am
    Angela Merkel, Nobel Peace Prize winner, is having to answer for 100 women being sexually assaulted by roving gangs of Arab and North African men on NYE. The Muslim culture is an antithetical to Western values.
    According to our myopic private dick here, sexual assault is a Muslim trait.
    Tell that to the American women in our universities.
    Tell that to the American women in our military.
    I am really believing imbecility is a Spinelli trait, and Nick is antithetical to our western values 🙂
    Who else among us has been censured by Prof Turley for trollish behavior 🙂

  8. There is no truth to the rumors Bill Clinton was disguised and among the roving gangs.

  9. This occurred in Cologne. It’s being reported widely in Europe, but pretty quiet here.

  10. Angela Merkel, Nobel Peace Prize winner, is having to answer for 100 women being sexually assaulted by roving gangs of Arab and North African men on NYE. The Muslim culture is an antithetical to Western values.

  11. even better one

    The United States Shouldn’t Choose Saudi Arabia Over Iran
    It’s far too dangerous to take sides in the proxy war between the two great Sunni and Shia states. In fact, our interests are more aligned with Tehran’s.
    By STEPHEN KINZER January 04, 2016

    Only two Muslim powers remain standing in the Middle East, and suddenly they are on the brink of war. Our old friend, Saudi Arabia, carried out one of its routine mass beheadings last week, and among the victims was a revered Shiite cleric. Our longtime enemy, Iran, which is the heartland of Shiite Islam, was outraged. Furious Iranians burned the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. The next day, Saudi Arabia broke diplomatic relations with Iran.
    The United States should do everything possible to avoid choosing sides in an intensifying proxy war between the dominant Shiite and Sunni powers in the Middle East. Though history tells us we should tilt toward Saudi Arabia, our old ally, if we look toward the future, Iran is the more logical partner. The reasons are simple: Iran’s security interests are closer to ours than Saudi Arabia’s are.
    Story Continued Below

    Most trouble in the Middle East emerges from ungoverned spaces—the disputed lands of Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Libya and other countries where many people live beyond the reach of legitimate government. This crisis is different. It pits two stable states against each other.
    But taking Saudi Arabia’s side would be a disaster. True, militarily the two appear pitifully mismatched. Saudi Arabia is among the world’s best armed states. It has spent vast sums to buy the world’s most advanced war-fighting systems, most of them from the United States. Iran, by contrast, has been under heavy sanctions for decades. Its army is not much better equipped than it was during the Iran-Iraq War 30 years ago.
    The confrontation becomes equalized, however, when motivation is factored into the equation. Saudis are notorious for their aversion to sacrifice. They hire foreigners to do most of the kingdom’s daily labor. Few Saudi men would dream of risking their lives for their country. For its war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has recruited hundreds of mercenaries from Colombia. The Saudis have enough air power to devastate almost any country on earth. Wars are won on the ground, though, and there Saudi Arabia is pitifully weak.
    The Iranians are different. If they believe their faith is under threat, they will pour onto battlefields even if they have to fight with slingshots. That difference in patriotic fervor makes sense. Saudi Arabia has existed for 83 years, Iran for more than 2,500.
    Saudi Arabia’s decision to provoke this crisis was aimed at least in part at forcing the United States to take sides. Supporting Saudi Arabia over Iran, however, would be a way of harming our own interests.
    Why does Iran make more long-term sense as a partner? Countries should fulfill two qualifications to become U.S. partners. Their interests should roughly coincide with ours, and their societies should look something like our own. On both counts, Iran comes out ahead.
    Iran and the United States are bound above all by their shared loathing of Sunni terror groups. In addition, Iran is closely tied to large Shiite populations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Bahrain. It can influence those populations in ways no one else can. If it is brought into regional security arrangements, it will have a greater interest in stability—partly because that would increase its own influence in the region.
    By almost any standard, Iranian society is far closer to ours than Saudi society. Years of religious rule have made Iranians highly secular. The call to prayer is almost never heard in Iran. In Saudi Arabia, by contrast, it dominates life, and all shops must close during designated prayer breaks. Iranian women are highly dynamic and run many businesses. Saudi women may not even drive or travel without a man’s permission. The 9/11 attacks were planned and carried out mainly by Saudis; Tehran was the only capital in the Muslim world where people gathered spontaneously after the attacks for a candlelight vigil in sympathy with the victims.

    Read more:…………..

  12. Karen S. How can the Iranians be considered a threat to us, when their favorite slogan is “Long live America”……. Or something like that.

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