NYT: the Iranian bomb leads to women's rights

On Sunday, an opinion piece by two Iranian ladies appeared in the New York Times pressuring  the Biden administration to return to Obama's Iran "deal" that gave legitimacy to Iran's nuclear program in exchange for a fifteen-year hiatus in producing the actual weapon.

In the mind of these ladies, Trump's withdrawal from that "deal" revealed the fundamental hypocrisy of his administration that ostensibly advocated gender equality, only to wreck it in practice by reimposition of sanctions: "the women of Iran deserve the same freedoms that the men of Iran possess,” Mike Pompeo said. But the Trump administration then dealt a tremendous blow to Iranian women by reimposing sanctions on Iran, restricting oil sales and access to the global banking system, and pushing the economy into a deep recession. The decimation of Iran’s economy is unfolding in the lives of the very constituency that has been working for reform and liberalization, and in whose name Pompeo and other leading American officials speak: middle-class Iranian women. The slump is tearing away at their fragile gains in employment, upper management positions and leadership roles in the arts and higher education, while reducing their capacity to seek legal reforms and protections... women’s lagging production and representation in a number of sectors, including a cultural sphere dominated by men, has worsened since Pres. Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign. Cries to support human rights from champions of sanctions sound hollow when those sanctions dismantle a country’s economy and the livelihood of its people. “You can’t tell people, ‘Starve and then seek freedom.’”

Simply put, these ladies count on the force of an emotional argument that is inherent in the use of "human shields:" if you hurt the bad guys, the innocents will suffer too. To save the innocents, get the bad guys off the hook. Or, translated to the language of the nuclear standoff with Iran, the logic is this: because U.S. sanctions Iran over its nuclear ambitions, Iranian ladies suffer hardship. To relieve it, get back into the "deal," lifting the sanctions.

We live in a gender-equal world, yet there's got to be some residual gentlemanly feeling left in the U.S. -- and the Iranian ladies appeal to it in their op-ed. Years ago, when the Obama administration feared an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, a catchy slogan was thrown around, "better bomb, than bombing." Nowadays, on the pages of the New York Times, it got morphed into "better bomb, than economic hardship of the Iranian ladies."

I think the argument the two ladies put forward is deeply disingenuous. "Starve and then seek freedom" is not what is asked of them. "Gain freedom by dumping the regime, and you won't starve" is the proper way of thinking about it.

It may not be that hard to do. As I suggested elsewhere, the intellectual keystone of regime's ideology is demonstrably wrong. Iran's ladies are as well positioned as Iran's men to see that ayatollahs feed them on falsehoods, and can discuss it with their fathers, brothers, and husbands. By tearfully pleading victimhood at the hands of the callous U.S. instead, they not only fail to grasp who is in the right, and who is in the wrong, but they actively prop up the regime, by acting as human shields for Iranian nuclear program, and for its export of terrorism. To gain freedom, Iranian ladies should free themselves from the regime, not try to pacify it by acting as useful idiots in the pages of the New York Times -- the paper that, to its huge discredit, is itself unbecomingly eager to play that nefarious and treasonous role.

Image: A. Davey