Rohani and the Italian cover-up

Much fuss has been made about Hassan Rohani’s Italian hosts covering up nude statues in Rome’s Capitoline Museum to save him from blushing!

Critics of Matteo Renzi’s government, mostly right-wing politicians in Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the Fratelli d’Italia party, have condemned the boxing up of Venus and other classical nude statues as “negating our own [culture]” and “a kind of surrender.”

This hoo-ha has missed two very important points:
1- For over 36 years Iranian women – i.e., real, living and breathing human beings – have been forced to cover themselves from head to toe so that the country’s male population are not ‘shamed’ or ‘sexually provoked’!

This nonsense is, of course, an excuse for the religious and political authorities of the regime to intrude in the smallest personal details of every woman’s life at home and the way she dresses outside the home. And the male relatives, whether they agree with the policy or not, have to ‘watch over’ the girls and women so that the family is not ‘shamed’ or hauled in front of a court for ‘offending’ the authorities.

But did Rohani’s Italian hosts consider the sensibilities of nearly 40 million girls and women when glad-handing him? We don’t think so.

2- Hassan Rohani is the so-called ‘president’ of a regime that for decades has persecuted workers, women, youth, national and religious minorities, writers, artists and any other kind of dissident for the slightest expression of opinions that are not approved by the authorities.

And if anyone dares to take independent action based on such opinions and ideals then they are locked up in jail, tortured and even executed. This regime is particularly vicious in smashing the struggles of workers to form independent trade unions and establishing the right to strike.

Again, we don’t think that anyone in Matteo Renzi’s government mentioned anything about the systematic abuse of workers’ rights. There just wasn’t any time when there were €17 billion ($18.4 billion) of business deals to sign with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Danieli (the steel company) and their like!

Now that Rohani is in France we expect workers’ and women’s rights to get the same treatment.

Free all political prisoners now!
Long live independent workers’ organisations and the right to strike!
Investigate Shahrokh Zamani’s death!
Iranian workers are not alone!

Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network
27 January 2016

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