Roger Cohen, the New York Times columnist who carries on the paper's tradition of shilling for tyrants, has received a telling honor from Iran's leaders -- the folks who have announced their intention to wipe Israel off the map, and are rapidly building nuclear bombs to achieve their goal): His column telling the world how swell the mullahs are has been reprinted in the Tehran Times.
Meanwhile, back home in the USA fallout continues for Cohen. Jonathan Tobin of Commentary notes:
His defense was that analogies between Iran and Nazi Germany are absurd and that the notion of Iran being run by a "mad mullah" is a caricature. He argues that the country is a functioning democracy which should not be demonized.
Of course, no one said that Iran was the same thing as Nazi Germany, though if it acquires and uses a nuclear weapon on Israel as it has threatened to do, such analogies would cease being so far-fetched. But if anything is a caricature, it is Roger Cohen's view of Iran. A democracy? How many candidates not approved by the ayatollahs can run for office? Exactly zero. For all of the words he spends defending himself, he never comes close to the truth about the regime, its support of terrorism, and its repression of religious minorities and political dissenters.
Even worse, he throws a red herring about Israel into the mix again, drawing a moral equivalence between the Jewish State and Iran.
Update: Perhaps Cohen should talk to Roxana Saberi, 31, who has reported from Iran for the BBC and NPR. If he can locate her, with the help of his good friends in Iran. The UK Times reports:
I'm familiar with the synagogue [mentioned by Cohen as having a pro-regime banner] and attended it when I lived in Isfahan. I chatted with some of the university-aged students who had taken shelter in an attached guesthouse because, as Jews, they were beat up in the university dormitories. Men and women both referred to the Jews' representative in the Parliament as a flunky for the regime, and would not discuss problems or issues when he was around. Several would say one thing in the synagogue, but when we went to parks on took walks through the city, they would bend over backwards to make clear that they cannot talk freely in the synagogue since the walls have ears. The same sentiment was expressed at synagogues in Tehran and Shiraz. Cohen, however, talks to him as the authority and takes his word that he is not a quisling. True, Jews are better of in Iran than in many neighboring countries, but there is a reason why their number has dropped by 80% over the last three decades. ...
You'd think after the Grey Lady would have learned her lesson after, a few years ago, the New York Times correspondent visited Tehran and quoted a University of Tehran professor talking about domestic protests. The correspondent was simply unaware that the man he quoted was known to every academic who went into Iran as the person in charge of 'minding' foreign visitors to Iran.
[she] called her father in the United States on February 10 to tell him that she had been arrested for buying a bottle of wine.
"She called from an unknown place and said she's been kept in detention," Reza Saberi said. "She said that she had bought a bottle of wine and the person that sold it had reported it and then they came and arrested her." Buying or selling alcohol is a crime in the Islamic republic.
Ms Saberi said that she had already been held for ten days and called back moments later to warn her family not to raise any alarm because she was to be released in two more days.
Neither her family in the US nor her friends in Tehran have heard from her since.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky and Ethel C. Fenig