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April 30, 2015 6:59 pm

NYU Students Celebrate 1,000 Hangings in Iran

avatar by Paul Miller

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Iranian President Rouhani. Photo: Wikipedia.

The scene outside New York University (NYU) on Wednesday morning was of a celebratory and sarcastic nature. A “massive party” is taking place to bring awareness to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s recent milestone of 1,000 hangings in the just the past 18 months.

Your party host, David Keyes, Executive Director of Advancing Human Rights (AHR), a nonprofit human rights advocacy group, has set up the carnival atmosphere this morning to coincide with Iranian Foreign Minister M. Javad  Zarif’s speech this morning at NYU.

“We’ll be symbolically renaming the cross-streets where the foreign minister will speak, ‘Majid Tavakoli Plaza’ in honor of the jailed Iranian student leader and ‘Jason Rezaian Plaza’ in honor of the jailed Washington Post writer,” Keyes explained in an email.

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Adding to the mocking nature of the protest, AHR has festooned the area with balloons and Iranian flags. An ice cream truck, live music, and signs that read “Free political prisoners!  Free ice cream!” and “Hang in there!” are part of the dark humor.

“If anyone deserves to be humiliated and punked, it is a regime that hangs gays, murders poets and tortures bloggers,” said Keyes. “Satire is a profoundly powerful tool against dictators as we saw with North Korea’s hysterical response to The Interview. Tyrants silence and jail satirists because they fear them.”

A satirical invitation was sent to U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, inviting him to join the party.

H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon,
Secretary-General
United Nations
New York

Excellency,

Iran has a rich cultural, national and religious heritage.  Iranians also enjoy celebrating major milestones in our unique history.  It is my privilege, therefore, to invite you to an exciting event marking a historic achievement.  This [Wednesday], April 29, 2015, join us in celebrating 1,000 hangings in Iran (in the past year and a half alone)!

All Iranians have the right to be hanged, whether you are a poet that blasphemed or merely gay. There is no place for discrimination in our policy to hang the enemies of god.  Men, women and children have all been jailed, tortured and asphyxiated at the end of a noose for their opinions and sexual identities.

We hope you will join our staff to mark this exciting milestone in Iranian history. The celebrations will be held from 9:15 to 10 am at 60 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012.  Plenty of ice cream and fun for the whole family.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

M. Javad Zarif

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran

This morning’s event is not the first time Mr. Keyes has confronted the Iranian foreign minister.

An October, 2013 encounter revealed that Mr. Zarif uses Facebook even though his government bans it. The Islamic Republic’s minister also claimed not to know who Iranian activist Majid Tavakoli was, when asked about his 2009 arrest for protesting Iran’s disputed presidential election.

This led to a social media firestorm that resulted in Tavakoli being released.

Paul Miller serves as Executive Director of the Haym Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought. Follow him on Twitter: @pauliespoint. This article was originally published by the New York Observer.

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  • Phil

    This is the regime that our president believes in more than Israel. Notice, nothing from the State department or administration.

  • Frank C.

    Julian,

    You should blame yourselves at NYU for creating an atmosphere of moral relativism on most every issue, making no protest over jihad, Iranian nukes, a fraudulent nuclear deal, while professors and student groups that demonize Israel, leaving the reader to not have the faintest idea as to whether you would support Iranians in executing 1,000 political prisoners or no.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    How do you know it’s satire. US universities might actually be celebrating.

  • Uh

    What kind of headline is this? Put the word MOCKINGLY in front of celebrate so readers know they weren’t really celebrating it. Or ptu the word “celebrate” in quotes. Or reword the headline to make it clear they were trying to ESPOSE Iran, and not actually agreeing with it.

    Same with the article.

    • uncle sam

      Got your attention though!

  • Julian Clovelley

    Your headline should make it clear that we are talking of satire here and not some outbreak of support for capital punishment in Iran.

    At the very least the word celibrate should be in inverted commas

    Or was your article meant to be satire too?

    • SARA RIFKA

      ANTI SEMITES NOT WELCOME

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