Where U.S. and Iran Find Common Ground

Condemned for apostasy in Iran, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani’s impending execution has not aroused as much attention as the execution in September of Troy Davis in Georgia, which provoked an international outcry and renewed U.S. debate over the death penalty. Nadarkhani has twice refused to recant his Christian faith during court hearings. If he persists, he will be scheduled for execution. He was arrested in his home city of Rasht in October 2009 while attempting to register his church, an effort viewed as a challenge to the Muslim monopoly on the religious instruction of children in Iran. Perhaps in response to social unrest, executions in Iran have spiked this year, with more than 320 tallied by the end of June. It is in the use of capital punishment that the United States and Iran find themselves in a rare area of agreement. They are among the handful of nations that conducted executions in 2010: China (several thousand), North Korea (60), Yemen (53) and Japan (2). Last year Iran executed 252 people and the United States 46.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

Brother Alois Leser, prior of the Taizé ecumenical community in France, is seen before the encounter at the World Council of Churches' ecumenical center in Geneva June 21. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“We live in a world of competition, where you have to be the best. This pressure comes even from the families, from society,” said Brother Alois Löser.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 17, 2018
The tête-à-tête between Paul Krugman and Nancy Pelosi in Manhattan was like a documentary about a once-popular rock band. (Rod Morata/Michael Priest Photography)
Speaking in a deep blue stronghold, the Democratic leader of the House calls for “civility” and cautiously hopes that she will again wield the speaker’s gavel in January.
Brandon SanchezOctober 16, 2018
The lecture provoked no hostile reaction from the students who heard it. But a media firestorm erupted.
John J. ConleyOctober 16, 2018
Though the current synod appears to lack the sort of drama and high-stakes debates of the previous two, the role of conscience appears to be a common thread.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 16, 2018