Beautiful Iran, Vacation Paradise for Homophobes

Pretty much anyone with access to a news source today is probably aware that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke today at Columbia University. He was asked questions about the usual expected topics, such as his country’s nuclear program, his denial of the Holocaust, and so on. However, at one point he actually drew laughter from the crowd.

What hilarious insight did he reveal? Read on:

Pressed specifically about punishment of homosexuals, he said: “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.”

With the audience laughing derisively, he continued: “In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who’s told you that we have this.”

-from the AP Wire story on the event

To hear the laughter for yourself, listen to the NPR coverage of the event.

I’m picturing a whole new vacation travel and tourism campaign from the Iranian tourism board.

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4 Responses to Beautiful Iran, Vacation Paradise for Homophobes

  1. poetloverrebelspy says:

    Posters with rainbows and svelte men holding hands, and the headline, “It’s not what you think!”? Or maybe, “Persia — leave your gaydar at home”?

    You can just hear the audience — “First he denies the Holocaust, and now this. . .”

    Listening only to the clip you linked to, I couldn’t exactly understand the context of his response. Was he arguing that homosexuality was a western phenomenon and it was more for that that people were being punished? Or am I putting words in his mouth?

  2. Dana says:

    Yeah, the context was hard to get. From reading the AP wire story, it looks like he dodged the question by saying that all people punished were criminals (drug dealers, etc.), and when pushed on why many of them seemed to be homosexual criminals, he made the statement that there are no homosexuals in Iran. Like, at all. Period. You Westerners and your crazy ideas.

    Then again, he was being given hostile questions by a hostile audience through an interpreter, so who knows what he meant. But that’s what it sounded like anyway.

  3. Sonetka says:

    I remember being told a mere seven years ago that “nobody has AIDS in Russia.” Well, OK then!

    I’m perfectly willing to believe that Iran is a bit short on homosexuals right now, but that would be more because they’ve left or have been hanged.

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