The Daily Beast reports that two Iranian men, Abdullah Ghavami Chahzanjiru and Salman Ghanbari Chahzanjiri, were hanged on August 6th, according to at least one report, for “consensual sodomy." Another report is not as specific about the crimes committed by these men but names them as “immoral villains.” Should it be proved that Chahzanjiru and Chahzanjiri were killed for being gay, the tragic event would only further propel the existing narrative that Iran doles out draconian punishments for its gay citizenry.
In his piece in The Daily Beast, Jay Michaelson points out that this latest human rights infraction comes as the U.S. is seeking to “engage” Iran diplomatically as tensions continue to escalate in neighboring Iraq due to the emergence of I.S.I.S. and the subsequent unraveling of now ex-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government. Interestingly enough, however, is who amongst this country’s political elite have taken up the mantle of activist humanitarians where the rights of LGBT Iranians are concerned. Michaelson writes:
In the topsy-turvy world that is international LGBT politics, Iran’s record on homosexuality is more a conservative cause than a liberal one…When Iran persecutes gay people, conservatives in the United States suddenly become enamored of gay rights—and bash the Obama administration for not doing enough to defend them. Thus the administration is hit from all sides—at a moment in which it is trying to pursue its dicey diplomatic agenda.