It cannot be denied that hatred and violence are fundamental characteristics of political power in contemporary Iran. The highest per-capita rate of executions in the world, public hangings, systematictorture and rape in prisons, brutal repression of peaceful protests in the streets, show trials and hate propaganda, criminalization of political and religious dissent, the smearing of all opposition as a “foreign conspiracy,” these notorious human rights abuses are all too familiar.
Violence is often mistaken as a sign of strength. The exact contrary is true: Violence is the ultimate sign of weakness. The man who tortures a pregnant woman or ties the noose around the neck of a 14-year-old boy or who rapes in prison, and the regime that supports such a system of wickedness and terror, is not only morally depraved, it is also profoundly weak. It is no different than the man who beats his wife and children; he is no man at all; he is a coward who cannot accept his own cowardice, and thus preys on those weaker than him.