Over at Harry’s Place, they’ve just cottoned on to the fact that there was a clash at last weekend’s CND conference when our dear friends from the Worker Communist Party of Iran were thrown out for disrupting a session at which the Iranian ambassador was speaking.
There are a couple of points to be made here. The first is that the leaflet distributed by the WPI at the conference (see image, left) featured a picture of the Mashhad hangings accompanied by the statement that “In July this year two gay teenagers – one under 18 at the time of arrest – were publicly hanged in the Iranian city of Mashad for having a sexual relation.” This quotation is reproduced uncritically by David T at Harry’s Place without any indication that this claim has been rejected by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others (see here).
The other point is that the WPI were allowed into the lunchtime session at which the Iranian ambassador would be answering questions. Jeremy Corbyn, who was chairing the session, took four or five questions from WPI supporters. He answered one himself, explaining that whatever their views on the present government all Iranians would agree that they didn’t want their country bombed by the USA. The problems began when other contributors took a different line from the WPI, who shouted them down along with the ambassador’s replies and refused to allow the meeting to continue. They were then ejected from the room. As they were bundled out, one was heard to shout “Bomb the fascists!”
That same weekend, Nick Cohen devoted his Observer column to a gushing tribute to WPI leader Maryam Namazie (see here). “She ought to be a liberal poster girl”, Cohen declared. It’s a strange form of liberalism that believes it is acceptable to shout down your political opponents and try to wreck democratically organised meetings.
All this gives an indication of the sort of regime the WPI would establish if they ever took power in Iran – one characterised by lying propaganda and the suppression of political dissent. Fortunately, as I’ve pointed out before, there isn’t the slightest prospect of that ever happening.