The US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran noted in its Tuesday published fact sheet that “Iranian government officials engage in hate speech against the LGBTQ community, which encourages state and societal violence against individuals. For example, Ebrahim Raisi, who is now Iran’s president, said in 2014 (when he headed Iran’s judiciary) that homosexuality is nothing but savagery.”

Peter Tatchell, the prominent British LGBTQ activist and human rights campaigner told The Jerusalem Post that “Raisi’s ignorant bigoted views are commonplace among the Iranian religious and political elite. They sanction the death penalty for consenting same-sex relations. That is the real savagery, along with the torture of political prisoners. Raisi is allegedly implicated in the barbaric execution of thousands of dissidents in the 1980s.”

He added “ending the death penalty and the criminalization of homosexuality should be made additional pre-conditions for the lifting of sanctions on Iran. According to the Center’s research, “Iran is one of only six countries that impose the death penalty for same-sex relations” and “The death penalty can and has been applied to juvenile LGBTQ individuals.”

In 2019, The Jerusalem Post reported that the Islamic Republic publicly hanged a man based on the Iranian regime’s anti-gay law.
Additional findings by the center include “flogging and imprisonment are also imposed for many same-sex acts and cross-dressing” in Iran and “Activists are convicted of national security crimes for peaceful LGBTQ advocacy.”

The Center noted that “honor killings by LGBTQ family members are encouraged by lenient laws” and that “77% of LGBTQ people surveyed in Iran reported experiencing violence in homes and communities.”

Iran’s regime uses brutal methods of torture to target LGBTQ people. According to the Center, “LGBTQ individuals are routinely forced to undergo dangerous conversion therapy to ‘cure’ them of their ‘disorder,’ which uses electric shock, psychoactive drugs, sterilization, and shaming, and which the UN has stated is “tantamount to torture.”

Iranians who are not “cured” by physical and mental forms of alleged torture are forced to undergo sex reassignment surgery (SRS), wrote the Center.

The Center added that “transgender people must undergo SRS or risk prosecution—which accounts for Iran’s extremely high rate of SRS. Yet SRS in Iran is extremely dangerous—while subsidized by the state, the pre-surgery process is abusive, the surgery is typically performed by ill-trained surgeons, and botched procedures and poor follow-up care often result in permanent medical complications.”

Lawdan Bazargan, an Iranian-American human rights activist, told the Post that “in the last decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran is emboldened and defends its stand against homosexuality and condemns the western countries for what they call, ‘savage acts, ‘inner corruption,’ and a concrete example of the failure of Western civilization in moral matters.” She said the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued the anti-gay quotes cited.

Bazargan added that “the repression of homosexuals will continue until Europe and the United States deal seriously with this Islamic caliphate and its barbaric laws, which date back to 1,400 years ago.

Instead of appeasing and recognizing this inhumane regime, the world should stand up to them. The clear message to the Islamic Regime of Iran should be that the violation of LGBTQ’s human rights is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Iranian regime officials, including former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have defended the regime’s lethal homophobia.
Zarif said in 2019 in response to a question about executing homosexuals: “Our society has moral principles.

And we live according to these principles. These are moral principles concerning the behavior of people in general. And that means that the law is respected, and the law is obeyed.”

Many Iran observers and many Western governments consider Zarif a moderate. Ali Larijani, the former Speaker of Iran’s Parliament, said in January 2011 that the death penalty for homosexuality is “effective in keeping society safe from perversion.” Larijani has also denied the Holocaust.

Source » jerusalem post